NVRDC is unique in a variety of ways, but most especially with our leadership model. Instead of the traditional model of one leader, we are challenging our community to think of dual leaders, working together to form a stronger, more sustainable, and transparent organization.
Therapeutic & Advocacy
Nicole Armstead is a Case Manager for the NVRDC Sexual Assault Crisis Response Project, and provides hospital-based advocacy and ongoing support services. She joins the Network for Victim Recovery of DC with extensive knowledge of sexual assault and gender-based violence, and previously worked as the Crisis Services Manager for the DC Rape Crisis Center where she provided leadership to a 100+ member volunteer corps and ensured that all 24hr rape crisis services were maintained. Before moving to DC, Nicole earned a BS in Secondary English Education from Kennesaw State University. Additionally, Nicole partnered with Outward Bound to facilitate wilderness expeditions with the school’s most at-risk student population, which resulted in the Teacher of the Year Award. She feels most alive when surrounded by love, laughter, adventure, and dogs, and participates in rock climbing as self-care.
Nikki Charles is leading the therapy and case management services of the organization. In her prior life, Nikki worked for the state of Maryland in a variety of capacities, most recently as the Administrator of Victim Services for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. She is also a full time faculty member at the American Public University System (APUS) and has been awarded two Governor’s Victim Assistance Awards in 2010 & 2012. Nikki received her B.S. at Shepherd University and her M.A. in Thanatology from Hood College.
Christa Heilman is a Case Manager for NVRDC’s Sexual Assault Crisis Response Project providing hospital advocacy and support services. Christa joined the Case Management team with a background in community outreach and trauma therapy. Previously, she worked as a Community Educator at the DC Rape Crisis Center, facilitating girls’ empowerment groups in DC Public Schools. She worked closely and consistently with adolescent girls to ensure a safe and supportive environment to discuss mental, physical, and emotional health topics. Christa previously worked in Chiang Mai, Thailand as an Art Director leading art therapy workshops for diverse social groups. She brings an artistic lens and compassionate understanding to her work. Christa received her B.A. in Sociology and Women’s studies from Loyola University Chicago.
Kari Ogrodowski is a Case Manager who coordinates NVRDC’s Sexual Assault Crisis Response Project via hospital advocacy. Before working with NVRDC, Kari worked as the Volunteer Program Assistant at the DC Rape Crisis Center. She aided in the management and training of their 120+ volunteers for direct hotline and hospital advocacy services. She simultaneously supervised and supported DCRCC volunteers throughout their direct service experiences. Kari is an adept responder to sexual trauma and has also formed relationships with community partners to ensure an efficient referral process for survivors of sexual violence. She previously served as a Healthy Relationships Class Facilitator at the Iowa State Juvenile Home for youth. Kari received her B.A. in Psychology and Art History from Grinnell College after growing up in East Tennessee.
Lindsey Silverberg is a Case Manager for NVRDC’s Sexual Assault Crisis Response Project responsible for providing hospital advocacy and support services. Formerly, Lindsey worked as the Manager of Outreach and Student Services at the University of Maryland Office of the Victim Advocate Associate. She provided advocacy and support services to survivors of interpersonal violence and worked with the campus community to raise awareness about sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence. More recently, Lindsey worked at Danya International, Inc. as an Associate Project Director in charge of two public health Small Business Innovative Research grants. Lindsey received her B.A. from the University of Maryland and her M.A. in Criminology and Public Sociology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Bridgette Harwood directs the criminal legal services department. She is one of the few criminal victims’ rights legal experts in the country. Before starting NVRDC, Bridgette served as subject matter expert on the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime’s National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network, developing training materials and curricula that she presented to coalitions throughout the country. As a certified police instructor, Bridgette volunteers as a trainer for specialized victimization topics on Trauma and Victims’ Rights at entry-level academies and in-service trainings.
Matt Ornstein is a staff attorney at NVRDC. Before coming to NVRDC, Matt worked as a staff attorney at a crime victims’ rights clinic in Maryland where he represented clients related to privacy issues, the right to be present and heard and the right to request timely restitution. He has also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Nancy Davis-Loomis and the Honorable Paul A. Hackner in Anne Arundel County.
Kristin Eliason is a staff attorney at NVRDC. Prior to joining NVRDC Kristin worked for a year and a half as a Protective Order Advocacy and Representation Project Attorney representing survivors of intimate partner violence in Peace and Protective Order proceedings. Her experience includes representing survivors of DV in family law cases as a student attorney at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law’s Families and the Law Clinic, a clerkship with Magistrate Judges Mary Grace Rook and Janet E. Albert at DC Superior Court who preside over Neglect and Abuse cases, as well as several months volunteering as a CPO attorney for the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project.
Lydia Watts, Chair
Director of Quality and Program Enhancement, National Legal Aid & Defender Association Deputy Director, DC Access to Justice Commission
Sandy Bromley, Secretary
County-Wide Domestic Violence Coordinator, Fairfax County Office of Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
Account Executive, DCI Group
Associate Director, Fortigent
Director of Membership, National Legal Aid and Defenders Association
Capacity Building Specialist, Fair Chance